Mrs Patricia Swain, of Sydney, New South Wales, is the sister of flight Lieutenant Colin Walker,DSO,the Australian pilot who captained a Sunderland which had an epic encounter with German fighter over the bay of Biscay 70 years ago.
In the battle the Sunderland crew shot down or damaged server of the fighters. Although heavily damaged itself the flying boat managed to reach the Cornish coast and to force land on the beach.
The poignant story of this battle was detailed by the Rev Mike Brotherton in his address at Sundays service.
Mrs Swain, who was accompanied by daughter Cheryl and son-in-law Kydric will be visiting Cornwall next month as a memorial to her brother’s crew and their aircraft will be unveiled on the actual 70th anniversary of the battle, Sunday June 2nd,at praa Sands.
A surprise connection with her brother was revealed to Mrs Swain when she met Mrs Patricia Singleton ,of Welwyn Garden City, whose husband Gordon, was also a pilot on the same squadron, no 461 Royal Australian Air Force. Gordon Singleton had himself made aviation history a few days before the battle by successfully landing a Sunderland on Angle airfield.
Mrs Singleton was attending with her friend, Mrs Margaret Black of Pembroke, one of the Sunderland Trusts’ hardworking volunteers.